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Hyman Rickover

Geburtstag: 27. Januar 1900
Todesdatum: 8. Juli 1986

Hyman George Rickover war ein Admiral der US Navy. Er gilt als „Vater der Nuklearmarine“ und steuerte als Direktor von Naval Reactors über Jahrzehnte deren Betrieb.

Zitate Hyman Rickover

„They all have excellent resumes… So what I’m trying to find out is how they will behave under pressure.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: They all have excellent resumes... So what I’m trying to find out is how they will behave under pressure. Will they lie, or bluff, or panic, or wilt? Or will they continue to function with some modicum of competence and integrity? Discussing his style of interviewing all officers who entered the Naval Reactors program.

„To do a job effectively, one must set priorities. Too many people let their "in" basket set the priorities.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: To do a job effectively, one must set priorities. Too many people let their "in" basket set the priorities. On any given day, unimportant but interesting trivia pass through an office; one must not permit these to monopolize his time. The human tendency is to while away time with unimportant matters that do not require mental effort or energy. Since they can be easily resolved, they give a false sense of accomplishment. The manager must exert self-discipline to ensure that his energy is focused where it is truly needed.

„Human experience shows that people, not organizations or management systems, get things done.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: What it takes to do a job will not be learned from management courses. It is principally a matter of experience, the proper attitude, and common sense — none of which can be taught in a classroom... Human experience shows that people, not organizations or management systems, get things done.

„If history has any meaning for us, it shows that men will continue to use the best weapons they have to win.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Thoughts on Man's Purpose in Life (1974), Context: If history has any meaning for us, it shows that men will continue to use the best weapons they have to win. Throughout history, even when men have established leagues to prevent war, they have nevertheless restarted to it. Utopia is still beyond the horizon. Above all, we should bear in mind that our liberty is not an end in itself; it is a means to win respect for human dignity for all classes of our society.

„Life is not meaningless for the man who considers certain actions wrong simply because they are wrong, whether or not they violate the law.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Thoughts on Man's Purpose in Life (1974), Context: Life is not meaningless for the man who considers certain actions wrong simply because they are wrong, whether or not they violate the law. This kind of moral code gives a person a focus, a basis on which to conduct himself. Certainly there is a temptation to let go of morals in order to do the expedient thing. But there is also a tremendous power in standing by what is right. Principle and accomplishment need not be incompatible. A common thread moves through all the principles I have discussed: It is the desire to improve oneself and one's surroundings by actively participating in life. Too many succumb to the emotional preference of the comfortable solution instead of the difficult one. It is easy to do nothing. And to do nothing is also an act; an act of indifference or cowardice. A person must prepare himself intellectually and professionally and then use his powers to their fullest extent.

„Nothing so sharpens the thought process as writing down one's arguments.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: Nothing so sharpens the thought process as writing down one's arguments. Weaknesses overlooked in oral discussion become painfully obvious on the written page.

„I do not claim to have a magic answer. But I believe there are some basic principles of existence, propounded by thinkers through the ages, which can guide us toward the goal of finding a purpose in life.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Thoughts on Man's Purpose in Life (1974), Context: I do not claim to have a magic answer. But I believe there are some basic principles of existence, propounded by thinkers through the ages, which can guide us toward the goal of finding a purpose in life. Among these principles of existence, responsibility is the one which forces man to become involved. Acceptance of responsibility means that the individual takes upon himself an obligation. Responsibility is broad and continuous. None of us are ever free of it, even if our work is unsuccessful. Responsibility implies a commitment to self which many are not willing to make; they are strongly attracted to accepting a course of action or direction for their lives imposed by an external source. Such a relationship absolves the individual from the personal decision-making process. He wraps himself in the security blanket of inevitability or dogma, and need not invest the enormous amounts of time, effort and, above all, the thought required to make creative decisions and meaningfully participate in the governance of his life. Responsibility also implies a commitment to others, or as Confucius taught, each of us is meant to rescue the world. It is the business of little minds to shrink from this task or to go about it without enthusiasm. Neither art, nor science, nor any of the great works of humanity would ever come into being without enthusiasm. The sense of responsibility for doing a job right seems to be declining. In fact, the phrase "I am not responsible" has become a standard response in our society to complaints on a job poorly done. This response is a semantic error. Generally what person means is: "I cannot be held legally liable." Yet, from a moral or ethical point of view, the person who disclaims responsibility is correct: by taking this way out he is truly not responsible; he is irresponsible.

„Responsibility is a unique concept… You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you… If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: Responsibility is a unique concept... You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you... If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you have never had anyone really responsible.

„A free society can survive only through men and women of integrity. Fortunately, there still exist human beings who remain concerned about moral and ethical values and justice toward others. These are the individuals who provide hope of the ultimate realism that is marked by a society's capacity to survive rather than be eventually destroyed.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Thoughts on Man's Purpose in Life (1974), Context: In our system of society, no authority exists to tell us what is good and desirable. We are each free to seek what we think is good in our own way. The danger is that where men compromise truth and let decency slip, they eventually end up with neither. A free society can survive only through men and women of integrity. Fortunately, there still exist human beings who remain concerned about moral and ethical values and justice toward others. These are the individuals who provide hope of the ultimate realism that is marked by a society's capacity to survive rather than be eventually destroyed. Ethics and morals are basically individual values. A society that does not possess an ethical dimension will find it almost impossible to draft a law to give it that dimension. Law merely deters some men from offending and punishes others from offending. It does not make men good. It is important also to recognize that morals and ethics are not relative; they do not depend on the situation. This may be the hardest principle to follow in working to achieve goals. The ends, no matter how worthy they appear, cannot justify just any means.

„It is a human inclination to hope things will work out, despite evidence or doubt to the contrary. A successful manager must resist this temptation.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: It is a human inclination to hope things will work out, despite evidence or doubt to the contrary. A successful manager must resist this temptation. This is particularly hard if one has invested much time and energy on a project and thus has come to feel possessive about it. Although it is not easy to admit what a person once thought correct now appears to be wrong, one must discipline himself to face the facts objectively and make the necessary changes — regardless of the consequences to himself. The man in charge must personally set the example in this respect. He must be able, in effect, to "kill his own child" if necessary and must require his subordinates to do likewise.

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„Knowing more about the public effects his work will have, the engineer ought to consider himself an “officer of the court” and keep the general interest always in mind.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: As a guide to engineering ethics, I should like to commend to you a liberal adaptation of the injunction contained in the oath of Hippocrates that the professional man do nothing that will harm his client. Since engineering is a profession which affects the material basis of everyone’s life, there is almost always an unconsulted third party involved in any contact between the engineer and those who employ him — and that is the country, the people as a whole. These, too, are the engineer’s clients, albeit involuntarily. Engineering ethics ought therefore to safeguard their interests most carefully. Knowing more about the public effects his work will have, the engineer ought to consider himself an “officer of the court” and keep the general interest always in mind.

„A person must prepare himself intellectually and professionally and then use his powers to their fullest extent.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Thoughts on Man's Purpose in Life (1974), Context: Life is not meaningless for the man who considers certain actions wrong simply because they are wrong, whether or not they violate the law. This kind of moral code gives a person a focus, a basis on which to conduct himself. Certainly there is a temptation to let go of morals in order to do the expedient thing. But there is also a tremendous power in standing by what is right. Principle and accomplishment need not be incompatible. A common thread moves through all the principles I have discussed: It is the desire to improve oneself and one's surroundings by actively participating in life. Too many succumb to the emotional preference of the comfortable solution instead of the difficult one. It is easy to do nothing. And to do nothing is also an act; an act of indifference or cowardice. A person must prepare himself intellectually and professionally and then use his powers to their fullest extent.

„Those involved with practical reactors, humbled by their experiences, speak less and worry more.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Paper Reactors, Real Reactors (1953), Context: Unfortunately for those who must make far-reaching decision without the benefit of an intimate knowledge of reactor technology, and unfortunately for the interested public, it is much easier to get the academic side of an issue than the practical side. For a large part those involved with the academic reactors have more inclination and time to present their ideas in reports and orally to those who will listen. Since they are innocently unaware of the real but hidden difficulties of their plans, they speak with great facility and confidence. Those involved with practical reactors, humbled by their experiences, speak less and worry more.

„There are no parliamentary procedures and no coercion from the Chair.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: The Quakers have an excellent approach to thinking through difficult problems, where a number of intelligent and responsible people must work together. They meet as equals, and anyone who has an idea speaks up. There are no parliamentary procedures and no coercion from the Chair. They continue the discussion until unanimity is reached. I want you guys to do that. Get in a room with no phones and leave orders that you are not to be disturbed. And sit there until you can deal with each other as individuals, not as spokesmen for either organization.

„I do not have regrets. I believe I helped preserve the peace for this country. Why should I regret that?“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Thoughts on Man's Purpose in Life (1974), Context: I do not have regrets. I believe I helped preserve the peace for this country. Why should I regret that? What I accomplished was approved by Congress — which represents our people. All of you live in safety from domestic enemies because of security from the police. Likewise, you live in safety from foreign enemies because our military keeps them from attacking us. Nuclear technology was already under development in other countries. My assigned responsibility was to develop our nuclear navy. I managed to accomplish this.

„Everything new endangers something old.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: Everything new endangers something old. A new machine replaces human hands; a new source of power threatens old businesses; a new trade route wipes out the supremacy of old ports and brings prosperity to new ones. This is the price that must be paid for progress and it is worth it.

„One must permit his people the freedom to seek added work and greater responsibility. In my organization, there are no formal job descriptions or organization charts.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: One must permit his people the freedom to seek added work and greater responsibility. In my organization, there are no formal job descriptions or organization charts. Responsibilities are defined in a general way, so that people are not circumscribed. All are permitted to do as they think best and to go to anyone and anywhere for help. Each person is then limited only by his own ability.

„As a guide to engineering ethics, I should like to commend to you a liberal adaptation of the injunction contained in the oath of Hippocrates that the professional man do nothing that will harm his client.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: As a guide to engineering ethics, I should like to commend to you a liberal adaptation of the injunction contained in the oath of Hippocrates that the professional man do nothing that will harm his client. Since engineering is a profession which affects the material basis of everyone’s life, there is almost always an unconsulted third party involved in any contact between the engineer and those who employ him — and that is the country, the people as a whole. These, too, are the engineer’s clients, albeit involuntarily. Engineering ethics ought therefore to safeguard their interests most carefully. Knowing more about the public effects his work will have, the engineer ought to consider himself an “officer of the court” and keep the general interest always in mind.

„And sit there until you can deal with each other as individuals“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Context: The Quakers have an excellent approach to thinking through difficult problems, where a number of intelligent and responsible people must work together. They meet as equals, and anyone who has an idea speaks up. There are no parliamentary procedures and no coercion from the Chair. They continue the discussion until unanimity is reached. I want you guys to do that. Get in a room with no phones and leave orders that you are not to be disturbed. And sit there until you can deal with each other as individuals, not as spokesmen for either organization.

„Responsibility is broad and continuous. None of us are ever free of it, even if our work is unsuccessful.“

—  Hyman George Rickover
Thoughts on Man's Purpose in Life (1974), Context: I do not claim to have a magic answer. But I believe there are some basic principles of existence, propounded by thinkers through the ages, which can guide us toward the goal of finding a purpose in life. Among these principles of existence, responsibility is the one which forces man to become involved. Acceptance of responsibility means that the individual takes upon himself an obligation. Responsibility is broad and continuous. None of us are ever free of it, even if our work is unsuccessful. Responsibility implies a commitment to self which many are not willing to make; they are strongly attracted to accepting a course of action or direction for their lives imposed by an external source. Such a relationship absolves the individual from the personal decision-making process. He wraps himself in the security blanket of inevitability or dogma, and need not invest the enormous amounts of time, effort and, above all, the thought required to make creative decisions and meaningfully participate in the governance of his life. Responsibility also implies a commitment to others, or as Confucius taught, each of us is meant to rescue the world. It is the business of little minds to shrink from this task or to go about it without enthusiasm. Neither art, nor science, nor any of the great works of humanity would ever come into being without enthusiasm. The sense of responsibility for doing a job right seems to be declining. In fact, the phrase "I am not responsible" has become a standard response in our society to complaints on a job poorly done. This response is a semantic error. Generally what person means is: "I cannot be held legally liable." Yet, from a moral or ethical point of view, the person who disclaims responsibility is correct: by taking this way out he is truly not responsible; he is irresponsible.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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